Background: As the U.S. population becomes more diverse, Hospital staff need to be better educated to care for patients of varying cultural and social backgrounds. More than half of all U.S. babies born today are people of color, and by 2050 our nation will have no clear racial or ethnic majority. As such, the authors created and enacted a diversity curriculum within the division of hospital medicine designed to educate faculty and help minimize cultural barriers that may exist between them and the diverse patient population they serve.
Purpose: In response to feedback received from our hospitalized patients about opportunities for improved cultural and religious sensitivity, we were determined to help our faculty promote and sustain culturally and linguistically appropriate services, and effectively interact with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
The purpose of this project was to improve provider cultural competency with a long-term goal of improving the quality of care our community’s diverse population receives and to reduce health disparities.
Description: Using a questionnaire, a baseline assessment was conducted of staff’s perception of their cultural competency. The findings validated the authors’ hypothesis that a diversity curriculum was needed.
The curriculum was developed and involved a multifaceted and asynchronous approach. A monthly lecture series was created with each one dedicated to improving provider familiarity and knowledge of frequently encountered ethnic, religious, cultural, sexual orientation and gender identity groups from our community.
Additionally, monthly newsletters (figure 1) which highlighted and provided background on numerous cultural holidays and religious observances were circulated via email and posted in staff work rooms.
All staff who attended a lecture were surveyed monthly to obtain a longitudinal assessment of their knowledge and comfort level taking care of culturally diverse patients.
Conclusions: Prior to implementation of the diversity curriculum, the average physician self-assessment scores for “knowledge about cultural issues” and “comfort level in taking care of patients from diverse background” were 1.5 and 2 respectively on a 0-5 rating scale with 5 being the highest score.
Over the course of nine months, 190 survey responses were received. Within six months of curriculum implementation, the average scores had increased to 4.5 out of 5 for both “knowledge” and “comfort”. The subsequent three months demonstrated sustained high scoring (figures 2).
Based on the results, the diversity curriculum was felt to be highly impactful and successful in improving staff confidence in caring for a diverse patient population. As the curriculum progresses and evolves, we will be measuring if improved provider comfort and knowledge levels will have a downstream impact on care quality and health disparities.
To cite this abstract:Mohammad, M; Patel, CR; Saigal, T; Abo Hassan, M; Smith, K. BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS: A DIVERSITY PROGRAM FOR THE BUSY HOSPITALIST. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2019, March 24-27, National Harbor, Md. Abstract 89. https://www.shmabstracts.com/abstract/breaking-down-barriers-a-diversity-program-for-the-busy-hospitalist/. Accessed December 11, 2019.